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Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Parris Island Plantations

 
 
Parris Island Plantations Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2008
1. Parris Island Plantations Marker


Inscription.
Taming the Wilderness
1715 - 1750
In 1715, Alexander Parris aquired what would come to be known as Parris Island. By 1722, Parris gave almost half the island to his daughter Jane and her husband John Delabare. Both families established plantations here, but it is uncertain if either planter lived on the island. Many planters maintained their primary residence in Beaufort.

The work of the early settlers, done mostly by their slaves, included clearing forests, cultivating crops, and tending cattle. Cattle ranching was an important industry in South Carolina throughout much of the 1700's.

Seeking Fortunes
1750 - 1790
Rice cultivation flourished in South Carolina, but not around Port Royal. This area lacked suitable freshwater fields, and so had no profitable crop. Most of Parris Island remained forested until a cash crop was found.

In the late 1740's indigo production proved to be such a crop. Used for blue dye, it grew well in the Lowcountry and became a prime export for South Carolina, and Parris Island, until the Revolution.

Once the indigo boom began, the landscape changed rapidly as fields were cleared. As the need for labor grew, so too did the slave
Parris Island Plantations Marker image. Click for full size.
By Parris Island Plantations Marker
2. Parris Island Plantations Marker
The work of the early settlers, done mostly by their slaves
population. Slaves were the primary inhabitants of Parris Island.

King Cotton
1790 - 1861
In the 1790's Sea Island cotton replaced indigo as the most profitable crop grown here. By then, Parris Island had been divided into five plantations, and into seven before 1825. Most arable land was devoted to cotton fields and few trees remained.

Cotton produced also brought with it renewed increases in the labor force. By 1850 nearly 500 slaves lived on Parris Island. The resident non-slave population, in contrast, was very sparse. In 1859 only two planters lived here. Daily supervision was primarily left to overseers.

A New Era
1861 - 1938
On November 7, 1861, Union forces captured Port Royal Sound and occupied the region for the remainder of the war. Their arrival signaled the end of the plantation way of life.

During and after the war, Parris Island's old plantations were divided into small tracts and given to newly freed slaves to farm. These family farms remained in operation until the last civilian residents left in 1938 to make room for the expanding Marine Corps Recruit Depot.
 
Erected by U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.
 
Location.
Parris Island Plantations Marker image. Click for full size.
By Parris Island Plantations Marker
3. Parris Island Plantations Marker
Most arable land was devoted to cotton fields and few trees remained.
32° 18.368′ N, 80° 40.559′ W. Marker is in Parris Island, South Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker is on Belleau Wood Road, in the median. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Parris Island SC 29905, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Parris Island Indians (a few steps from this marker); Aqui Estuvo Espaņa (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort San Marcos (within shouting distance of this marker); Charlesfort-Santa Elena Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Jean Ribault Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Northern Most Known Bastion of Spanish Florida (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Inhabitants (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort San Marcos & The Ribaut Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Parris Island.
 
Regarding Parris Island Plantations. About 3,000 acres are habitable, of which 1,645 are developed. The Depot manages about 1,400 acres of forest and about 3,816 acres of wetlands.
 
Categories. African AmericansColonial EraIndustry & CommerceNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
Parris Island Plantations Marker image. Click for full size.
By Parris Island Plantations Marker
4. Parris Island Plantations Marker
old plantations were divided into small tracts and given to newly freed slaves to farm. These family farms remained in operation until the last civilian residents left in 1938 to make room for the expanding Marine Corps Recruit Depot.
Parris Island Plantations Marker as seen at the Belleau Wood Rd. circle image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2008
5. Parris Island Plantations Marker as seen at the Belleau Wood Rd. circle
Parris Island Gateway as seen today image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 26, 2009
6. Parris Island Gateway as seen today
Note that the French Memorial (center) is included at the Gateway. For more information, nearby markers Fort San Marcos & The Ribaut Monument.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,498 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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